All of the bicycles we sell are unique, and most are custom-built. It’s always seemed obvious to us that that’s the sensible way to do things – why choose to settle for the lowest-common-denominator bastard child of a marketing department blindly aping current fashions, a purchasing department trying to shoehorn the latest 17-speed (*future-proofing) groupset onto a bike used to pick up groceries, and a finance department insisting the whole thing doesn’t cost the manufacturer more than £300 to produce, when you could have something suited to purpose, beautiful to look at, and skilfully engineered?
In the face of an industry that sells poorly suited, ill fitting products in blind pursuit of a healthier bottom line (and no, of course that’s not JUST bikes), we made a decision to come at things from the opposite direction.We specialise in high-quality, small-scale production, British bikes dating from the 1930s to the 1990s. The work of skilled craftsmen in the back of small shops. While this sounds like a cottage industry, it was anything but. It was a trade practiced in every town in the land, and in some places (London foremost amongst them) by dozens, even hundreds, of practitioners.
By the time the trade fell into decline from the 1970s onwards, as mass production gobbled up market-share, many millions of high-quality, beautifully made, strong, durable, and lightweight bicycles had already been made (thank god!). These are the materials of our trade. We get to breathe new life into them – to reimagine and remake them for new owners with new requirements. We think it’s the best job in the world.
We specialise in full builds around a frame of your choice, based on geometry, size, aesthetics, and budget. After a conversation in our shop, over the phone or by email, we prepare a build-sheet detailing and costing the proposed build, including (if required) choices for every component. This allows you to see exactly what you’ll be spending and where, and means everything is transparent and upfront. We also offer a 10% build discount on all custom builds, excluding those purchased through one of the cycle-to-work schemes.
Once your bicycle is built we invite you around for a ‘first-fitting’, after which we’ll make any alterations you wish. You’ll only leave with your bicycle once you’re entirely happy with it; the whole point of a custom-build is to go away with a bicycle that’s not only your dream bike, but a bike that’s just right for you. You won’t leave our shop with anything less. Our custom builds start at about £500… We don’t use any low quality or heavily used parts, and all the wearable parts (tyres, brake pads, cables, drivetrain and so on) are brand new. For this reason we’re able to offer a 6 month guarantee on every bicycle we sell.
Here are a few examples of builds we’ve done for customers this year – if you’d like to see more, please visit our instagram page. We offer custom builds through Cycles Scheme, Bike2work and Halfords Bike2work.
Get in touch to find out more!